Resistance Training isn’t just for Big Muscles

When most people hear about resistance or weight training, they think of the big body builders and “bulking” up. However, there is much more to resistance training then gaining big muscles. Resistance training helps break down muscle fibers and when the muscles begin rebuilding, they are more firmed, toned, and stronger. Several people use resistance training to increase lean muscle mass and become toned…not everyone wants big muscles.

Resistance training is recommended for all men and women. It offers several health benefits such as: building muscle strength, increasing your metabolism, lowering blood pressure, reducing body fat, making everyday activities a little easier, help prevent osteoporosis, increasing stability and balance, and much more. Adding resistance training into your exercise regimen is extremely beneficial for you and your body.

Weights are not the only equipment used for resistance training. Your body weight and resistance bands can be used as well. Therefore, if you have bands but do not have weights, its okay! You can still get an effective workout with bands. Your own body is a great tool as well; there are several exercises you can do with just using your body which are effective.

To get started, it is extremely important you have permission from your doctor. Sometimes doctors will not allow clients to participate in resistance training due to medical conditions. If you have the clear, then your first step is to know what exercises to do. There are several tools online, tv, videos, and apps which help you with resistance exercises. If you only want to incorporate a small amount of resistance training then that is fine, just make sure you know how to properly do the exercise and watch your form and technique. When you preform an exercise incorrectly, you are putting yourself at risk for injury as well as not receiving maximum results.

Strength training does not only consist of workout out your chest, shoulders, and arms, but it includes your back, core, and legs as well. You want your exercises to range from upper to lower body. You should be doing shoulder fly’s all the way to leg squats. Include your entire body into resistance training.

Resistance training is recommended two times a week until you can work yourself up to three times a week. Reps may vary between 8-10 (muscle growth), 12-15 (lean muscle). You also want to pick weights that are not too heavy. You want your last three repetitions of the set to burn, almost to where you can barely do the exercise without compromising form. If you are not feeling the burn, then most likely you need to increase the weight or use a thicker resistance band. Resistance training should not be painful, if you are experiencing pain, then you need to stop immediately.

My challenge to you would be to begin incorporating resistance training into your workout plan. If you want to only do 20-30 minutes two to three times a week, then great! Keep it up and keep going. If you are unsure about exercises, you can always use a personal trainer/me who can help you and increase your confidence with resistance training. A gym is not necessary to have an effective resistance training program. If you have the tools at home, you can do it there.  You cannot go wrong with incorporating resistance into your workout plan; you will be doing your body and yourself a favor. Good luck and if I can help, do not hesitate to email me at cohennutrition@gmail.com.

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